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Showing posts from June, 2010

Q: How can we build Trust? A: By being trustworthy.

I had this really good meeting with Solynn McCurdy this morning. The more I think about it the better I feel about it. As we were shaking hands and saying good-bye the last thing we were talking about was the idea of presenting a Strategic Plan Update for the community. The Alliance would sponsor the event and it would present a comprehensive and honest accounting of the current status of every Strategic Plan Project. There would be a comprehensive list of all of the projects. For each project there would be information on the project timeline, current status, costs, and compliance with the Community Engagement Protocols. To the extent that the projects are moving forward and meeting expectations, there would be appropriate credit given. To the extent that the projects are stalled, behind schedule, over budget, wandered astray, and closed to the public, it would be duly noted as well. A presentation like this would accomplish a number of necessary goals: 1) inform the community, 2)

Let's Get Loud (or at least noisy)

I do believe the Times is really angling for a fight. (Kind of reminds me of dueling banjos in Deliverance - we answer them and they answer us.) The latest salvo is an editorial about the SEA and the district (thanks to Seattle Citizen for the alert) by Lynne Varner. She opens with the issue of the SEA putting off a vote of no confidence in the Superintendent until after the negotiations. (I find this tactic pretty funny as I'm sure it won't change a whit of what happens in the negotiations.) If the Seattle Education Association is betting on a tactic of tying the superintendent's fate to labor talks as a way of gaining the upper hand, they are stuck in a pre-recession time warp. Casting a cloud above the negotiating table is the latest state economic forecast showing an arduous climb out of the recession. By 2013, Goodloe-Johnson may be able to afford to buy the union's affection, but right now that check would bounce. That last sentence is an odd one. Woul

Not the Only Ones to Find Fault with the Times

Over at the Stranger's blog (the Slog), they are discussing the laughable logic that the Times' editorial board uses for policing of our fair city. They want more cops and loudly deride McGinn for leaving our city unsafe but have absolutely no ideas on where the money would come from for said cops (meanwhile McGinn has moved some bicycle patrols to foot beats in parts of downtown to try to help the situation). The Slog points out that their editorials make the Mayor look like he doesn't care but their own news stories show that he is trying with what he has. I wrote in the comments section that they have somewhat the same problem with their education editorials. They love to say how great things are, especially under the Superintendent's leadership, and then never define success or give specific examples. Good to know we aren't the only ones with issues about the Times and their editorials.

Why don't you work WITH them?

I get this question from time to time. I get it from a lot of good, well-intentioned people. "Instead of fighting the District (or the Board, or the Alliance, or the Times, or whatever other institution) all of the time, why don't you try working WITH them to accomplish your shared goals?" The question arises periodically as new people come to the situation and so should be answered periodically. I do, on a fairly regular basis, try to work WITH all of these groups that I appear to be in conflict with. It never seems to come off however. There are a number of reasons why efforts to cooperate fail. 1. Let's remember that, as often as not, my primary complaint about these groups is that they refuse to work in cooperation with the community. As often as not, just asking the question "Why don't you stop complaining and try to cooperate?" is evidence that the complaint has not been heard because the top complaint is "Why won't you let us cooperate

Open Thread

Mel usually does these instead of me. I think she generally starts the discussion with a topic. Does anyone have a kid going some sort of Bridge thing over the summer. MESA or something else?

A Seat on the Alliance Board

It's a funny ol' world, ain't it? There's a post on the Alliance blog about Development (that's a euphemism for fundraising) in which the author, Mr. Gonzalez, invites folks to make a donation online or to email him with other ways they would like to get involved with the Alliance. It occurred to me that Dr. Goodloe-Johnson no longer sits on the Alliance Board. I think she used to be on it because the Alliance lists her as a Board member, but it isn't among the non-profit boards listed in her disclosure statement and it isn't in her bio . Actually, when you think of all of business between the District and the Alliance, there is good reason to think that a seat on the Alliance board would be a much bigger conflict of interest than even her seat on the NWEA board. Anyway, with her no longer in that role, I reckoned that meant that her seat on the Alliance Board is available. So I volunteered for it. According to Mr. Gonzalez, the Alliance's goal

Desperately Seeking Susan (Or At Least Someone Who Thinks Like Her)

I had written to Susan Enfield, our CAO, at the beginning of June to ask some questions. Here was my e-mail to her: "I was reading the Times recently and they had an editorial on Congress and the emergency public school aid. They referenced the school improvement grants here in Seattle and said this: "In Seattle schools teachers at Hawthorne Elementary, West Seattle Elementary and Cleveland High have agreed to be evaluated under a new system that holds them accountable for meeting student academic growth goals. In exchange, the teachers are eligible for extra compensation." I reviewed the SPS press release on this along with each school's fact sheet and I didn't see anything about extra compensation. Could you tell me where I might find information on this or did the Times get something wrong? Also, you may have heard (or read) that I pointed out my disappointment in your report to the Board on the Native American program issues. This is a pretty

Strategic Plan update

The superintendent gave the Board their quarterly update on the Strategic Plan at the June 16 meeting. Supporting documentation for it can be found here . I started to read it and was upset almost immediately. The first item, implementation of the Integratec Comprehensive Services is marked as Complete. The Comments section reads: " Students with IEPs learning alongside peers with additional adult supports; students receiving high-level curriculum; students genuinely part of the natural classroom environment. " There's no mention of any concerns or failures. You would think, from this, that everything with ICS was going great. The second item, a report on the impact and outcomes of the model, is marked as Complete despite the fact that it is not complete. The comments read " Report is in progress and on track for completion by the end of the school year. " From the comments it is clear that the report is NOT complete, so why is it marked as complete? I hate t

Public Hearings

Well, it was as I suspected. Me, Chris Jackins and one other person (Barbara Kelley from the Seattle Council PTSA). Plus 4 Board members (DeBell, Carr, Patu, and Maier), the Superintendent (she only stayed for one hearing because of a meeting at South Shore) and some staff. It was fun in a way because Chris had pointed out that in previous years, there were two public hearings on the budget, one for the General fund and one for Capital. So the Board decided you could testify 5 (!) times on the budget, one for each area of the budget. Chris had come prepared so he did. I only spoke on the General and the Capital. On the General I basically read what Meg Diaz had pointed out. Why were they so specific in some areas and not others? Why be specific to the point of $.19M and yet in other places get vague with words like "some"? Why are some jobs called out specifically and yet not the coaches? Why is Performance Management not scoped out? Two specific things of note

It's Performance, not Personality or Politics

I remember political discussions about the Iraq war that ended when conservatives, unable to counter the arguments of those who opposed the war, would ask "Why do you hate America?" I remember how right-wing talk radio personalities discounted and dismissed oppostion to President Bush's policies by accusing those with opposing views of hating the President. This petty and obsessive hatred of G.W. Bush was the presumed source of the opposition to his policies and the fault-finding in his actions. Let me be very clear. I don't hate Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. I don't even dislike her. I have no personal feelings about her of any kind. I have never met the woman, she and I have never talked, I have no personal sense of her at all. It wouldn't matter to me if she were a saint or an ogre. Honestly, I wouldn't care. It's not about her personally in any way. It's about her job performance. Her performance evaluation should be all about how well she has

Central Office Jobs

Did we hear that the Central Office is cutting jobs? I think that's what is going to be said tonight at the Public Hearing on the budget (which might just have an interesting twist, I'll let you know but I don't want to tip off our friends in the district who read the blog). But let's go check the employment page at SPS. There's a "Chief Talent Officer" in Human Resources who will report directly to the Superintendent. This used to be the Executive Director of HR but now we call it Chief Talent Officer. Salary? $118k-$163k. Then there's Executive Director of Schools which I think is a new position but, like the Executive Director of HR, may be a new name for an old job. This pays between $102-142k and the person reports to the CAO. Update: Executive Director is the new name for Education Directors. The district seems to have filled 3 of the 5 positions according to HR so they are advertising for two of them. All will report directly to D

More Schools Voting No Confidence

Maple Elementary and West Seattle High School are the newest schools to take a vote of "no confidence" in the Superintendent. Maple voted 17 yes, 1 no and 2 abstaining. West Seattle voted 35 yes, 3 no and 4 abstaining. I do want to echo what someone else said in a different thread. We don't know, right off hand, how many SEA represented staff are at each school. I don't believe most of these votes are technically SEA votes. I would call them straw votes. However, that these staff members, and a fair number at every single school, got together and took a vote tells me two things. One, there are a lot of brave people are out there because I can believe this could have repercussions for some and two, that enough staff from each school made the effort to take the vote. I am a bit surprised that the SEA is waiting until early September to vote as a whole. They said they want to wait and see how the Superintendent handles the negotiations. Fair enough and

Open Thread

Sorry, forgot about the open thread. So what are your thoughts as this school year comes to a close tomorrow?

Public Hearings on Wednesday

As a reminder, there are two Public Hearings on Wednesday the 23rd on district business. Call the Board office at 252-0040 to sign up to speak or email hearing@seattleschools.org. The first is the Public Hearing on the final district budget from 4-6 p.m. As watchdog Chris Jackins pointed out at last Wednesday's Board meeting, there used to be two hearings on the budget. One was for the general budget and the other was for the capital budget. Without any explanation or notice, they are rolled into one hearing. This is troubling if only because this is change without any public notice. The second hearing is about the supplemental levy the district wants to put on the ballot this fall. This hearing runs from 6-7 p.m. Naturally, Wednesday, the day after the last day of school is a great time to have these hearings (at least for the district) because very few parents are going to show up then. And hey, not putting them on your "News and Calendar" page is a gr

Yet Another Silly Editorial in the Times

The Seattle Times editorial board should just stop writing about Seattle Public Schools. Every time they do it they just expose their lack of knowledge and lack of understanding. This time they wrote about the Native American program . I suppose this was some sort of effort to make themselves appear balanced regarding the superintendent. They looked for some small issue that wasn't close to her that they could point to as "in need of improvement" and invite her to apply her super-hero powers to fix it. Unfortunately they were ill-informed about the facts of the situation. The program isn't supposed to be just "mentoring, advocacy and cultural services". It used to have teachers and the community wants the teachers restored. The community wants an academic program, but the District won't provide it. The Times suggests that the problems with the program are about counting the students or FAXing the forms on time. They completely neglected the District&#

Growth of AP - sort of

In the Advanced Learning work session there was a slide that showed the growth of AP and IB in the District. It is true that many more students are taking AP classes than ever before. But it doesn't necessarily mean what you think it means. Take, for example, Roosevelt High School. At Roosevelt about half of the 10th grade students used to take AP European History. This is typically the first AP available to students, one of the few open to 10th grade students on the typical pathway. The class is challenging for 10th grade students and the fact that about half of the students took it is a testament to Roosevelt's academic strength. The other half of the students took a history class similar to the one that students all across district and the state take in the 10th grade. Some folks at Roosevelt didn't like that. They didn't like the fact that about half of the students were self-selecting to take on the challenge and rigor of AP European History. Even more, they didn

Happy Father's Day

To all the dads out there, happy Father's Day. Enjoy your time with your family and relish the role of father.

Today's Community Meetings/Tim Burgess Speaks

There were some Director community meetings today; DeBell, Sundquist and Martin-Morris. Did anyone attend? I sent an e-mail to the Directors expressing my disappointment in the evaluation of the Superintendent. I am not willing to waste my time with them any longer (with the possible exception of Kay Smith-Blum who has shown a willingness to ask questions until she gets answers and isn't afraid to offer her own solutions). I'm not passing on research or information to them. I'm not going to testify at Board meetings. I'm not going to their community meetings (even though you can learn interesting things from other parents). But why bother? They may sometimes listen and even raise a question of staff that someone from the community gives them but really they don't seem to want input or care about making sure it is part of their or the Superintendent's decision-making process. On that note, here's some interesting information. There's a Seattleit

Last Day as A Seattle Schools Parent

You honestly think, that first day of kindergarten with your oldest child, that you'll never see the end. Those 13 years stretch far, far out in front of you. There's school and friends and sports and activites and PTA and family and it just seems like a hazy daze of life. And that's just for one child. Then one day (actually one night), your youngest child puts on a gown and a mortar cap and sits with his classmates and walks across the stage and they hand him a diploma and they tell you he's all done. What?!? Where was I when this time passed? Well, it does. And then you get charged with creating a slide show for a graduation party for him and his friends. You sort through photos and see ones you forgot and ones you love to look at and see those chubby baby legs and then the hilarious middle school haircuts (it's always middle school) and the first signs of stubble. You smile while your eyes well up. You remember teachers and principals and how it i

Who can we get to run for the Board in 2011?

Four Board positions will be up for election in 2011. They are the seats now held by Steve Sundquist, Sherry Carr, Harium Martin-Morris and Peter Maier. Honestly, I think that all four of these directors should get strong opposition and three of them definitely have to go. Peter Maier has made it very clear that he is working for the superintendent, not for the community that elected him. He has to go. I often say that I don't want people to step down, that I want them to step up. That's not the case with Director Maier. Sherry Carr has proven a profound disappointment and does not deserve a second term. She puts more value on going along to get along than she places on representing the public. She refuses to provide the needed oversight, refuses to demand accountability, and refuses to take any sort of stand. She has proven too timid to do the job and, as she simply lacks the courage to step up, she must step down. Steve Sundquist appears reasonable, but refuses to be s

New Principals

A number, actually a Large number, of schools will have new principals next year, although not all of those principal appointments have been announced. As we get answers, it will be Stacey Loftin at Coe, we get questions, who will it be at Southshore? Let's put together a list. We talk about churn in the principal's offices, let's get a measure of it.

Facing Forward

Okay. The annual review of the Superintendent's performance is pretty much over. Yes, the Board doesn't actually vote on it until July 7, but, let's face it, it's over. The three motions will all be approved as they are written. I think we can let go of the issue and face forward. It's time to move past complaining and get on with action. So let's consider each area in which the District's actions have been either deficient or misguided and find ways that we can work for improvement. What, if anything, can we do about: * implementing Special Education services in inclusive classrooms * improving math instruction * closing the academic achievement gap by bringing all students up to grade level * implementing early and effective interventions * protecting academic freedom * protecting alternative programs * assuring the quality and efficacy of advanced learning programs * providing more equitable access to programs * reducing the backlog of maintenance and

KUOW Story on Superintendent

I missed the report from KUOW reporter, Phyllis Fletcher, so I looked it up. Guess what? The Superintendent has this to say: Goodloe–Johnson: "They don't really get the opportunity to see the humane person that I am as it relates to children, and that I've committed my life to this work. And I don't think they get to see that, which I'm gonna work on, because they don't really know me. They know the Superintendent, the CEO of a business. And our business is about children. But they really don't know me as a person and as a mom." So much can be said about these comments. I always get scared when I hear that education is a business but now Dr. G-J says children are her business. Great. And frankly, I don't want to know her as a person or a mom. I don't need to know the School Board that way to know if they are doing their jobs and I don't need that from her. And she wants to be thought of as "humane". So now we kn

Recess

Recess will be one of the topics on today's The Conversation starting at noon. Call in if you have thoughts, 543-KUOW. Here's their report on it. Interesting finding: Another big difference between the schools is that at Thornton Creek, most of the students are white and middle–class. At Dunlap, nearly all of the students are black, Latino or Asian and from low–income families. That corresponds to what KUOW found when we surveyed recess times across the Seattle school district. For instance, we looked at the 15 highest–poverty and lowest—poverty schools. Kids at the low–poverty schools average 16 minutes more recess than kids at the high–poverty schools. That amounts to about one whole recess more. And amount of recess? Dornfeld: "A lot of schools in the district give kids 45 minutes to an hour of recess every single day. Is that something that you see as realistic for this school?" Thompson (principal at John Muir): "Um, so I would be interested t

She Stays (but no raise and no incentive pay)

The Board has decided to extend her contract, if I'm reading it correctly, by one year but is not giving her either incentive pay or a raise because of the budget difficulties. If we are correct about her contract having two more years, the motion extends it to 2013. Here's what the motion says (and oddly is from the Board office assistant, Joan Dingfield): I move that the Board of Directors accept the Executive Committee’s recommendations to amend the Superintendent’s employment agreement to extend the existing employment agreement between the School District and Dr. Goodloe-Johnson from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013. Steve Sundquist read the entire annual performance evaluation (and that's about when I left, I just couldn't take it and I wasn't alone). And understand, the entire Board agrees with this. I have a hard believing that they won't all vote for the three motions next time if they signed off here. Key points: The Superintendent’s strength as

Updates

Quick updates from our readers: Green Lake Elementary voted no confidence ; 26 yes, 1 no, 1 abstained Ballard's principal, Phil Brockman, is leaving. Big loss as Phil is one of the best principals we have. I hear he's going to be at the headquarters but I haven't heard in what position. And because it is so hard for teens to find jobs, I saw this as well: Be a Microsoft Apprentice! The Microsoft Apprentice program is designed for teens, who are going to be juniors and seniors in the fall, and have a strong interest in business, marketing, and Microsoft. Microsoft is looking for students who have great attendance, a positive attitude, like to learn new things and have great communication skills. ($9.00 per hour) Apply online at www.teenjobs.org or contact Aaron Eggers at 206.334.3310 or email aeggers@postiveplace.org see career center job board for information. Another Update: Checking the agenda I see two things of note. One, there are 5 open spots for spe

Waiting to Exhale Indeed

That was the title of the latest cheerleading effort by the Times - Seattle Public Schools: Waiting to Exhale . I'm not sure what that means except maybe we are all holding our breath to see what the Board says tomorrow about the Superintendent's annual review. Will they... just review her work for this year and say nothing about her contract? review her work and say they are, at this point, renewing her contract another three years? review her work and say they are waiting one more year and then they will decide about her contract? review her work and thank her for efforts and say they will not be renewing her contract in two years? Given the quivering over at the Times, I think they are worried it may be 1 or 4. I personally am betting on number 1. She's got two more years on her contract (so why the need to say anything at this point unless she's made it clear they better) AND it's a good way to show they are going to do the minimum at this point and wait a

Kooky Seattle Times is at it again

The Seattle Times printed another love letter to Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson on the editorial page. They can't print them on the news pages because they have an obligation to print the truth there. ====UPDATE==== Here's yet another Seattle Times editorial that lauds the work done by philanthropic organizations, blames teachers, and dismisses concerns about corporate influences in our schools.

Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee 6/14

The Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee met yesterday afternoon. Directors Sundquist and Martin-Morris (chair) were present. Director Patu was absent. The meeting began with a discussion of the idea of waivers for schools that want to use something other than the Board-adopted materials as their primary texts. Schools are free to choose supplemental materials, but they are expected to rely primarily (there is no enforcement or objective measure) on the Board-adopted materials. The only Board-adopted material currently in use are the math textbooks - although this list will grow starting next year - and there are only two schools that have a "waiver". There is no formal process for granting a waiver and no formal process for revoking one. The discussion at this meeting was to confirm that the only waivers would be for materials and then to set a timeline for drafting procedures. Dr. Enfield committed to having draft procedures ready for Board review in the fall. Spec

Whiteboard volunteer needed

Dan had an absolutely brilliant idea. We need to use it. During Board meetings there is a seat in the auditorium - on the aisle, on the left (north) side of the room, about two rows in front of the big pillar - that is on camera when people are speaking at the podium. If we could place someone there with a whiteboard, whatever they wrote on the board would be captured on camera. It would be broadcast to the home audience and it would become part of the official record of the meeting. It's not so important when members of the public are speaking, but it would be absolutely critical when staff are speaking. Who can do it? I will be happy to provide text for the whiteboard - as will a number of other folks on the blog. You don't have to have something on display all the time. You want to be selective and leave things up long enough for them to be seen. Comments? Thoughts? Volunteers?

Final Warning (At Least From Me)

Charlie and I (and the other occasional bloggers) rarely talk to each other about what we are going to write about on the blog. My basic rule of thumb is to try to wait at least 3 hours before posting if Charlie has just posted a thread (unless it's strictly informational like a meeting time). And sometimes, I hit "publish" and he has done it at nearly the same time so there's no accounting for that. We don't have a lot of hard and fast rules here. However, I have tried, gently but firmly, to ask people NOT to hijack a thread and go off-topic for the simple reason that it makes it frustrating for people who start reading only to find the topic started is not being discussed. For me as the writer I wonder, "What happened to the original topic? Not interesting?" There are a few readers who do this on a regular basis (and even have blogs of their own) and yet ignore this rule. So, just for my own threads, if I see this happening, I'll del

One Girl, Lots of Hope

A great and hopeful story from the Central District News about Garfield freshman, Jessica Markowitz, who single-handedly started a Seattle group to raise money to educate girls in a village in Rwanda. From the article: In that time, Jessica has visited Rwanda three times, earned national recognition for her work, including a spot on CNN and a cover story in Parade Magazine, and built lasting friendships with the 30 girls in the rural area of Nyamata. The goals of the organization are: Enable girls to finish primary school and attend 6 years of secondary school; Reduce the gender discrimination that prevents girls from completing primary and secondary education. Develop an on-going cross-cultural exchange program between high school students in Seattle, WA and primary and secondary girls in Nyamata and Kigali Rwanda. Support the mentorship provided by girls from Fawe Girls School in the Rwandan capital Kigali, to low income girls in the rural district of Nyamata. Collab

At Least We Don't Have a Kook Like Marysville

There was an article a week ago in the PI about an argument among the Marysville School Board over e-mails sent by one member. It is so hard to believe that initially I thought the Onion got one thru. A relatively new member of the Board, Michael Kundu (elected in November), had sent an e-mail to another Board member and the executive director of teaching and learning for Marysville, about the work of a psych professor at the University of Western Ontario as "evidence that certain ethnic groups possess biological advantages and disadvantages compared to others, in areas including brain sizes and intelligence levels." The Board member, Michael Kundu, said in the e-mail: "I think what is safe to draw from this is that there is a definitive factor played by racial genetics in intellectual achievement, but we, as a society, are striving to offset that foundation by increasing educational and social opportunities to 'offset' the racial achievement gap,&qu

Alternative School Article

There is a nice story in the Times today about Ida B. Wells School, part of the Middle College, by Jerry Large. It's very clear that this school, which is an Alternative Learning Experience, is not part of the Curricular Alignment effort. That bodes well for the NOVA Project, another ALE that cannot standardize texts and course titles.

School Board Meeting Agenda

Tomorrow is the sign-up day for speaking at Wednesday's School Board meeting. You can either call 252-0040 or e-mail the Board office, boardagenda@seattleschools.org. As previously noted, there will be a rally at the John Stanford Center at 5:30 pm prior to the Board meeting to voice concerns over over superintendent, Maria Goodloe-Johnson. If you are not coming to the rally or Board meeting, I urge you to write to the Board with your opinion/thoughts about Dr. Goodloe-Johnson's abilities to guide and lead SPS. The agenda has some interesting items: a resolution for the $48M supplemental operations levy to be put on the ballot in November. I had written about this in depth previously so I won't go into again. The cost to the district is $525k but they are hoping that would go lower if more items get on the ballot. One thing, though, is that there is language in here both specific on its uses and vague on its uses depending on the year. The first year 2010-2011

Board Community Meeting reports

Directors Carr, Maier and Patu held community meetings today. Any reports?

Whiteboards

This may seem incredible today, but it used to be that the Board would talk to members of the community who attended Board Committee meetings. Members of the previous Board would usually invite members of the public to sit at the table if there was space available and would often turn to informed people and ask them questions during Board committee meetings. This Board never does that. They didn't even talk to Meg Diaz or afford her an opportunity to speak when they were discussing her analysis. Ivory Tower much? How I wish they would re-engage with the public this way, but it's a fantasy. Other fantasies: I would love it if, during the discussion of a motion at a legislative meeting, a Board member would ask a question of someone who testified on the topic. Wouldn't it be great if a Board member asked Chris Jackins to offer a response to a statement by the District staff? I would love it if, during a work session or a committee meeting, a Board member had an informed m

Race to the Bottom

Consider, for a moment, the Performance Management System as designed by Seattle Public Schools. All schools get some funding and resources from the Performance Management System. Schools with low performace or slow performance growth and deemed in need of help will get more additional funding and resources. Schools with high performance and adequate performance growth will get less additional funding and resources. So the worse your scores, the more funding and resources you get. They reward low performance. The downside is that the Education Director decides how those funds are spent at your school. Presumably the Education Director makes the decision based on a knowledge of the school's needs. And what is the reward for high performance? You get less money but the principal decides how it is spent. That, by the way, is the extent of "earned autonomy". That's the autonomy you can earn: the right to determine how your school's small allotment (less than $50,0

Breaking News - West Seattle High

Thanks to Yumpers for alerting us to this news: now all of the leadership of West Seattle High are leaving. This from the West Seattle blog. It had previously been announced that the principal, Bruce Bivens, was leaving for a job in California. Now both the assistant principals are leaving as well, one to the Highline district while the other one has just resigned. That a lot of leadership gone at once. Look for a lot of juggling of existing principals/vice-principals to WSHS and/or bring some out of retirement (I'm looking at you, Chuck Chin - Mr. Chin has come out of retirement at least once to take over a school.) That this comes so soon before school ends means we may not know for sure until school starts.

Open Thread Friday

Tomorrow finds 3 School Board directors community meetings; Director Carr - 8:30-10 am at the Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center, 8515 Greenwood Ave North Director Maier - 10:30-noon - Bethany Community Church, 1156 N. 80th, upstairs Classroom A Director Patu - 11:30-1:30 - Rainier Beach High School library, 8815 Seward Park Ave. South I do want to take this time to acknowledge the Board members who regularly respond to my e-mails and mostly with thoughtful responses - Sherry Carr, Kay Smith-Blum, and Michael DeBell. Sherry and Kay frequently follow up on my questions. I occasionally hear from Harium Martin-Morris (but he has a blog) and Steve Sundquist. I have never heard from Betty Patu.

From the "Are You Kidding Me" File

Well, this one takes the cake. The Times has been following the saga of what will replace the Fun Forest at Seattle Center as it renovates itself. Early on, the owners of the Space Needle wanted to put in a Chihuly glass museum which seemed to get a lot of blowback from people who were not wildly enthused given (1) it seemed a bit like merchandising for a guy who already gets a lot (2) there's a glass museum in Tacoma and (3) most people (and I say this confidently) want more green open space in the center of the city. So the owners of the Space Needle, in an effort to get what they want, sweetened the deal. To wit: In a second attempt to sell the city and the public on a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at Seattle Center, the Space Needle Corp. is proposing to add an art-inspired playground for kids and develop a partnership to bring more art to Seattle public schools. And how would SPS be involved? On the defensive, the new Chihuly proposal seeks to address those concerns

Board Work Sessions - Math and Advanced Learning

The Board has two work sessions scheduled for this month. The first, today, Thursday June 10 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, will be on Math . No agenda details are available but there is sure to be a powerpoint and it is sure to appear on the District web site soon. I have to believe that the Board is looking for a report on the implementation of the curricular alignment, the implementation of the Theory of Action from the High School textbook adoption, and some update on student academic progress in math. Next week, on Wednesday, June 16, from 4:00pm to 5:30pm, will be a Board Work Session on Advanced Learning . I honestly cannot imagine what the District staff will have to report They cannot report on the response to the APP Review because they have quietly dropped that project from list of Strategic Plan strategies. They cannot report on the implementation of the APP curriculum because they have not implemented the APP curriculum - the one that was supposed to have been fully implemente